A Canadian man is stirring up some controversy after a sign he posted in front of his used car dealership was shared on social media.
John Mellish is the manager of Mellish Motors in New Annan, Prince Edward Island (P.E.I.), CBC News reported. He said he likes to put up signs on the business’s front lawn for fun.
“I've put up signs about men, teachers, myself, kids, et cetera,” Mellish told CBC News. “I do like people to be talking. Good or bad, it does get attention.”
Mellish’s latest sign was no exception. The message read: “Women are like snowflakes. They can't drive.”
Mellish said the sign was meant to be taken “in good humor.” But not everyone saw it that way.
“We probably struck a nerve with one or two people out there, and so be it — that's fair ball," Mellish said. “Some people take it the right way and I love that.”
Chelsea Ling was among those who didn’t find the sign humorous. She posted a photo of the sign on Facebook Jan. 16 with the caption: “Well PEI friends…”
“I'm very much for businesses doing what they want and not for people saying 'oh, they run a business, they can't do that,' but I think there should be a common sense line of what's hateful and what's funny,” Ling told CBC News.
Ling added that she wouldn’t want her two young boys to see the sign.
“Just because it is normal in society, I don't believe it's okay," she said.
While Ling found the sign to be in poor taste, other social media users defended the sign.
“People are way [too] sensitive nowadays!” one person wrote as a comment on Ling's Facebook post. “You can't open your mouth without offending someone! If I ever flip over a female saying something sexist about men, please put me out of my misery!!! And there's about 30 seconds of my life I'll never get back!!!”
Another user criticized the manager’s marketing strategy.
“So, you're going to go out of your way, in the freezing damn cold of January, to install a sexist comment on your sign that alienates at least half of your potential clientele and for what?" the user wrote. "A cheap chuckle at an EPICALLY lame ’joke’?#marketingfail."
Mellish said he rarely goes on social media but admits that he did follow some of the comments.
“If we didn't have social media, people would get a chuckle out of my sign and their day would carry on,” he told CBC News, "People seem to hide behind the social media."
Mellish wasn’t done just yet. He later changed the sign to: “Sensitive women. Don't read this sign!” He later added: “You know who you are!”
On Jan. 18, he changed the sign again to read: “Attention drama queens auditions for today have been cancelled!”
Mellish said he has no intention of stopping.
“When people arrive at work, the very first thing they discuss is, 'What did Mellish have on his sign?'” he said.